Earlier this year, members of the National Staff attended the annual Campus Prevention Network Summit. The CPN Summit is a three-day gathering for professionals to learn, share, and explore strategies for enhancing prevention and compliance efforts at their institutions and organizations. The Summit blends cutting-edge insights with high-impact strategies on sexual assault, alcohol and other drugs, wellness and mental health, as well as diversity and inclusion to drive real progress and produce measurable results in the mission-critical work of improving the lives of students, staff, and faculty.

During one of the wellness and mental health sessions, Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University, Dr. Jean Twenge presented some startling statistics*:

  • In the past five years, 12-17-year-olds have shown a 50% increase in signs of clinical depression and anxiety.
  • Since 2009, the reported incidence of suicidal ideations in this group have increased, and suicide rates have doubled.
  • At the same time, from 2013 to 2017, statistics show a precipitous decline in reported satisfaction and happiness.

(*For more information, see www.simonandschuster.com/books/iGen/Jean-M-Twenge/9781501152016)

A few weeks before the CPN Summit, the unthinkable happened and a collegiate Brother with a bright future ahead of himself made the tragic decision to end his life. Between the recent loss and the statistics shared at the summit, a realization was made; Phi Mu Alpha must make an effort to bring awareness to the impact that suicide has and how individuals can help bring about change for a growing public health issue.

We are adding official recognition of National Suicide Prevention Week to our ongoing Risk Management Education efforts beginning this year, and ask that all Brothers participate. Throughout the week, Brothers will share personal stories of how suicide has affected their lives in an effort to show the impact that suicide can have. The hope is that by creating awareness and shedding light on a hard truth, Brothers may be able to intervene and save a life.

Phi Mu Alpha wants Brothers, friends, family, and strangers to know that your life has meaning and that you are not alone.

To get involved in our Suicide Prevention Awareness efforts, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat throughout the week for shared impact stories, personal experiences, and helpful resources.

Potential Warning Signs

  • Talking about feelings of hopelessness.
  • Talking about having no purpose.
  • Talking about feeling trapped.
  • Talking about unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated.
  • Sleeping too little.
  • Sleeping too much.
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

What To Do

If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide:

  • Do not leave the person alone.
  • Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs, or sharp objects.
  • Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
  • Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or health professional.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free 24/7 service that can provide suicidal persons or those around them with support, information, and local resources.

(“Potential Warning Signs” and “What To Do” provided by https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/)